Arthritic pain among Latinos: Results from a community-based survey




To examine factors associated with pain among Latinos with arthritis, identify common coping strategies and potentially effective interventions, and determine whether pain levels affect the level of interest in potentially useful programs.


Using a convenience sampling approach and a combination of face-to-face and telephone surveys, 588 Latino adults in Oregon with arthritis were interviewed. The intensity of pain during a typical day was assessed using a scale ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (worst pain). A score of ≥7 was defined as severe pain.


More than 60% of Latinos reported severe pain. Results from an ordinary least square regression indicated that among Latinos with arthritis, women, those with lower levels of education, and those reporting poor or fair self-rated health and functional limitations had higher levels of pain, after controlling for confounders. Those with severe pain were more likely than those with lower levels of pain to use over the counter medicine and home remedies to manage their arthritis. In addition, Latinos with greater pain were more likely to be interested in arthritis management programs.


These findings have important implications for public health policy. The strong interest of Latinos in various arthritis and joint pain management programs could prove to be an important avenue for supporting a population with high levels of arthritic pain and lack of health insurance. These pain management programs are all the more appealing, given the availability of a number of evidence-based, low-cost interventions.